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Better Management of Population, Resources, Environment Urged
General-Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Hu Jintao said in Beijing Sunday that the increasing imbalances in China's population, resources and environment deserved more attention.

Hu told a symposium held by the Central Committee of the CPC that it was vital to do better in managing the country's population, resources and environment if China was to develop a healthy, fast-growing national economy and build a xiaokang, or well-off society in an all-around way.

He asked all officials at various levels to enhance their awareness of sustainable development, which will be a long-term challenge in China, a developing country with the world's biggest population.

The main tasks in population and family planning are to keep the birth rate low, improve the health of newborn babies.

Meanwhile, more should be done to tackle the problems of the growing number of jobseekers, the elderly (who now account for more than one-10th of the population) and the transient population of more than 90 million.

Hu noted that people should also give priority to conserving, rather than exploiting, resources, using them only for their most profitable purposes.

"By protecting the environment, people should be able to drink cleaner water, breath less polluted air, and eat higher quality foods,'' Hu said.

Water conservation was another key point in Hu's speech.

He called for better measures to combat floods, droughts and water pollution.

Various laws and regulations managing the three fields of population, resources and the environment must be strictly enforced and any illegal activities severely punished, Hu added.

Hu's views were echoed by Premier Zhu Rongji, who said that governments should work with the public and media towards better population, resource and environmental planning.

Public awareness of sustainable development should also be strengthened through publicity campaigns.

(China Daily March 10, 2003)

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